April 12, 2019 / Vincennes University’s Todd Franklin earns another national coaching award
Photos of Coach Franklin
VINCENNES, Ind. - Todd Franklin has received another national honor and is the recipient of the 2018-19 Spalding NJCAA Men’s Basketball Division I Coach of the Year award.
The NJCAA announced the news on April 12.
Franklin coached the Vincennes University Trailblazers to the NJCAA Division I national championship and was named Coach of the Tournament in March. VU defeated Ranger (Texas) 87-77 in the title game in Hutchinson, Kansas, on national television. It was the first national championship for the Trailblazers since 1972 and fourth in program history.
A special season keeps getting better for the Trailblazers. Earning the Spalding NJCAA Division I Coach of the Year award is a credit to Franklin and his players.
“It means a lot,” Franklin said. “It’s exciting because you achieve it because your team was good. We had a group of guys that I am very proud to have coached. This is a year we will remember not just because we won a national championship; we are going to remember it because we did it with a great group of guys who we really feel did it the right way.”
The national champions produced a 34-2 overall record on the way to winning the top prize. The Trailblazers were ranked in the national poll the entire season and climbed as high as No. 1. They also won the District 16 regular-season title.
It was a remarkable season enjoyed by many. Franklin has heard from countless individuals since winning the national championship.
“The great thing is it means a lot to a lot of people,” he said. “It means a lot to a lot of people who have played for us. It means a lot to people around Vincennes who hadn’t seen a championship since 1972.
“If you had to pick a year to do it, this was a great year to do it because of the great group of guys. They epitomized what we try to be. They were a bunch of guys who were overachievers. By the time it was over, they were a really good basketball team who I thought was probably the best team from start to finish throughout the season, and they did it as a team. If you are going to win one as a coach, you hope it’s that kind of team and it was.”
The awards and accolades have been piling up for Franklin.
He was presented the 2019 National Association of Basketball Coaches NJCAA Coach of the Year Award last week in Minnesota. A couple of days later he received an NABC Honor Award for achieving 600 career wins.
Franklin, who was inducted into the NJCAA Men’s Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2018, has cemented his place in the history of one of the nation’s top programs.
He earned his 600th career win during the national tournament when VU beat Odessa (Texas) in the quarterfinal round. His career record is 602-138 in 22 seasons for a .812 winning percentage. Franklin’s career record at VU is 272-41 in nine seasons. He has coached the Trailblazers to seven consecutive national tournaments, which is a modern-day junior college record.
Guiding VU to the national title for the first time in 47 years is tremendous.
“Forever there was ‘we’ve done everything else…final fours and elite eights,’ and we had good guys who played all over the country, graduated, and have gone on to be good people,” Franklin said. “There was only one ‘but’...we hadn’t won it.
“The biggest thing about this particular national championship is it eliminated that ‘but’ and allows you to not only enjoy this year, but to enjoy all the really good years that we’ve had. This is great for everybody who has been involved with our basketball family.”
Vincennes University Newsroom
Vincennes University Trailblazer Athletics
MARCIA MARTINEZ, Sports Information Director & University Life Reporter
812-888-4164 office, 314-599-1519 cell, VUNews@vinu.edu, firstname.lastname@example.org
VINCENNES UNIVERSITY, Department of University Relations, www.vinu.edu/newsroom